Healing Broken Bodies: The Missional Ecclesiology Behind J. H. Oldham's Middle Axioms
William J. Danaher, Jr.
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This essay explores J. H. Oldham’s development of the middle
axiom approach, in particular the missional ecclesiology that framed it, found
in the publications he developed for the Oxford Conference in 1937 on “Church,
Community, and State.” With this framing ecclesiology established, it becomes
clear that Oldham’s approach better
accommodates criticisms of middle axioms that have arisen in ecumenical and
Anglican social ethics. Further, it becomes possible to distinguish Oldham’s middle axiom approach from that of later
practitioners, in particular William Temple and Ronald Preston. Finally, the
modifications required for a retrieval of Oldham’s
approach in contemporary social ethics are considered.